Reports: Barcelona to scout talented defender this week
Can Barcelona persuade the young defender?
What’s the rumour?
As per reports from Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona will scout Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt this week. The Dutch defender is in line to play against England and Portugal in the international friendlies coming up.
In case you didn't know:
De Ligt is dubbed by many to be the next big thing from Ajax's famed academy. The 18-year-old has shot into fame following a string of eye-catching performances and many top European clubs including Barcelona are scouting the players' progress. He was a key member of the Ajax team that reached the finals of the UEFA Europa League last season.
He has already made 48 games for the club and has earned his first call-up to the national side for the upcoming friendlies.
The heart of the matter:
Following Mascherano's transfer away from the club, Barcelona signed defender Yerry Mina from Brazilian side Palmeiras. However, Samuel Umtiti's future is in question as the player has stalled contract negotiations. Gerard Pique is also into his 30s and they will want to have a suitable replacement when he eventually hangs up his boots.
As a result, Barcelona will send scouts to watch the young player in action this week. They may plan a move in the summer if he can impress them.
Rumour rating/probability - 6/10
Although the report may be true about the Catalans' interest in the player, a move is unlikely to materialise because Ajax will be reluctant to sell their star.
Video: de Ligt in action
A move to Barcelona will be hard to reject for any player, but he will be worried about regular playing time in Spain. It is better for the player to stay put at Ajax, continue his development and think about a move later in his career. Ajax definitely will have no interest in the player, and he will not come on the cheap even if they decide to sell him.